I love this chocolate.
There. I said it.
I love it for two reasons. One, because it is tasty, and two, because every bite transports me back to memories that I cherish and hope never to forget. Shall we?
Vosges Red Fire Dark Chocolate Bar
What do you get when you combine 55% dark chocolate, Mexican ancho and chipotle chillies, and Ceylon cinnamon into a single vegan and gluten-free bar? First and foremost, you get a deep rich chocolate aroma threaded through with vanilla and warm spice notes.
You also get the memory of the first time you ate this Vosges Red Fire chocolate, which was after a UVA football game in 2007 where the overwhelming brightness of the orange colours in the stands left you sunburnt.
With every bite of this Red Fire chocolate, you taste complexity. Smoke and wood creep in through the two types of chilli used in this bar, while the heat stays hidden until after you’ve swallowed, at which point you suddenly discover a burning tickle at the back of your throat.
It’s a little bit like the choking prickle in your throat that emerges when you remember your time in Virginia and Washington, DC in January last year with Lincoln and Lauren – the very same wonderful friends who sent you this chocolate several months ago. (For those of you new to this blog, you can read more about (and see photos of me with) Lincoln in The Tale Of Mr Bottom and The Speeding Ticket, and can catch a glimpse of the lovely Lauren in this post about Washington, DC [Lauren, I have decided you totally look like Kate/Catherine Middleton in that photo. You're a duchess!]).
This chocolate is not at all bitter, with the 55% cacao content enabling a definite sweetness that counteracts the warmth of the cinnamon and the spice of the chillies. The texture is crisp yet slightly fudgy, with caramel, hot chocolate, dulce de leche, and vanilla ice cream all emerging in the flavour of the dark chocolate itself.
I wrote in my tasting notes that this is “one of those chocolate that is just rich and intriguing and fills both your mouth and mind with happy”, and you know what? I stand by that grammatically incorrect statement. Because the kind of happy that this chocolate makes me feel is akin to the happy I felt in 2007 when Lincoln took me to Monticello and I fell in love with the Autumn colours in the trees, with Jefferson’s bed which was IN THE WALL, and with the friendship of the boy at my side.
Oh, and thank you for the chocolate. It remains one of my Vosges favourites.